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Dad charged with second-degree murder, DWI for fatal crash that killed son

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Posted at 4:33 PM, May 23, 2022

PASQUOTANK COUNTY, N.C. - A father was charged with second-degree murder and a DWI after a crash killed his son.

According to Sgt. Beau Daniel with North Carolina Highway Patrol, the crash happened around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, on U.S. 158 near N.C. State Road 1359 (Blindman Road) in Pasquotank County.

According to the preliminary investigation, Elizabeth City resident William Vernon Harford Jr. was traveling westbound on U.S. 158 when his vehicle crossed into the eastbound lane.

A van that was traveling in the eastbound lane attempted to avoid Harford's vehicle, but was unsuccessful and collided.

Harford's 5-year-old son was pronounced dead at the scene, and his other son, a 7-year-old, was taken to CHKD in Norfolk with moderate injuries.

A passenger in the van was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with serious injuries, officials say.

According to officials, Harford seemed impaired when authorities responded to the scene. They say a rolled-up dollar bill with a "powdery" residue was found in his vehicle.

Police say Harford was charged with second-degree murder, felony death by vehicle, driving while intoxicated, driving with license revoked for previous DWI, possession of drug paraphernalia, and several traffic offenses. Additional warrants are being secured at this time.

He is currently being held at Albemarle County District Jail on a $300,000 secured bond, but the bond amount may increase when the additional warrants are processed.

Harford is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday morning in Pasquotank County District Court.